It’s that time again…school is back in session and we’re sending our kids off for whole days at a time to be in some stranger’s care. As more of us parents are getting involved in our kids schedules, and kids are becoming busier, we thought we would share our list of ideas of how to keep in touch with the kids, no matter how young or how old they might be.
White board and Calendar/communication board: Setting up a communications station in a high-traffic area is a great idea. A black- or whiteboard, a calendar, a computer…a central, accessible place to have a schedule and a place to leave notes. We love all of Martha’s Entry-way organizational ideas, especially the shutter organizer and the chalkboard message centre.
Notes in their lunches: It may seem too sweet, but putting a note into a kids’ lunch may just make their day. It doesn’t have to be long or intricate, just a quick “Hi, from Mom! Love You” works wonders sometimes to brighten up any day. You can use any kind of paper for these notes, but we love the cute, pre-printed ones from LOL and the free printable ones that you can find on pinterest (like these ones from Simply Bloom).
Cell Phone: We love to hate them, but cell phones are our lifelines in this fast-paced technologically advanced world we live in. We looked around and specifically the Nokia Lumia 610 is a great starter device for young users. We gave it to our resident experts, a 10 year old girl and a 13 year old boy, both of whom thought it was very simple to use and liked it a lot. Thought a cell phone might not be appropriate for all kids, once they start trekking to and from school on their own we think it might not be a bad idea to look into one.
Family Meetings: Sometimes an old fashioned family meeting is a necessity, to hash out issues, scheduling conflicts and just keep in touch with the minis. Schedule it once a month, grab some take-away and really listen to your kids. You’ll find it helps them come to you more often if you prove you’ll listen to them when they have something to say.
Schedule Down Time/Find Opportunities to Talk: Make sure that in all the hub-bub of daily life and school, lunches, shopping, classes, practices, lessons, clubs and playdates that you schedule in time to actually spend with the family. Sometimes this down time can be the walks or drives to and from school, or Sunday morning while you’re making breakfast. It doesn’t have to be hours on end, just a few minutes everyday that you’re talking and they’re talking and you actually listen to each other.